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The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person

Updated November 23, 2020 509 votes 86 voters 1.8k views43 items

List RulesVote up the reality series that make you a more educated, open, accepting, and thoughtful person.

While traditionally pigeonholed as a trashy genre, there is plenty of current reality TV with substance. Whether it's learning a new trade, understanding a complicated topic, or gaining a more nuanced perspective of the lives of others, the reality shows below truly teach you something. For every Real Housewives, there's a Who Do You Think You Are
 

Many current thought provoking reality TV series do not shy away from controversy. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath explores shocking stories of people who escaped Scientology and does not hesitate to challenge the religion as a whole. Inspirational reality series shine light on traditionally marginalized groups. RuPaul's Drag Race focuses on the LGBT community and Little People, Big World shows the every day struggles of little people. Such programs prove reality TV scandal and exploitation are not the defining factors of the genre. 
 

What is the most thoughtful current reality TV series? Vote up the best programs below!  

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  • 1
    RuPaul's Drag Race

    What you learn: Celebrate uniqueness, love yourself, work it girl

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  • 2
    The Amazing Race

    What you learn: Teamwork, basic geography, and how to read instructions carefully

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  • 3
    Undercover Boss

    What you learn: Communication skills, good customer service, the importance of mutual respect

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  • 4
    MasterChef
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    12

    MasterChef

    What you learn: How to be resourceful, act under pressure, and engage in teamwork 

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  • 5
    Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

    What you learn: How to adopt a nuanced, informed perspective on religion and the abuse of power

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  • 6
    Who Do You Think You Are?

    What you learn: It's a small world, family trees have deep roots, ancestry is interesting

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  • 7
    The Great British Bake Off

    What you learn: Baking tips, teamwork, British phrases 

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  • 8
    America's Got Talent

    What you learn: Go for your dreams, overcome obstacles, share talent

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  • 9
    Shark Tank

    What you learn: Be prepared, know your value, learn from your mistakes

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  • 10
    How It's Made

    What you learn: How stuff is made, the magic of manufacturing, practical science is cool

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  • 11
    Little People, Big World

    What you learn: Celebrating uniqueness, family values, overcoming adversity

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  • 12
    Born This Way
    13
    12

    Born This Way

    What you learn: How to empathize more with adults with cognitive disabilities 

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  • 13
    MasterChef Junior
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  • 14
    Pit Bulls & Parolees

    What you learn: Everyone deserves a second chance, the power of redemption, don't judge a book by its cover

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  • 15
    Iron Chef America

    What you learn: Gourmet cooking techniques, how to perform under pressure, creativity 

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  • 16
    Running Wild with Bear Grylls

    What you learn: Survival skills, how to be prepared, the importance of mental strength

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  • 17
    Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

    What you learn: Different is good and food highlights culture 

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  • 18
    This Old House
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    This Old House

    What you learn: DIY skills, how to locate a stud, when to call an expert

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  • 19
    True Life

    What you learn: A nuanced perspective of those of whose lives deviate form the norm 

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  • 20
    Dragnificent!
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  • 21
    We're Here
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  • 22
    Legendary
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  • 23
    Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
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  • 24
    Karma
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  • 25
    Being Reuben
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